The folks over at DigitalRev TV got Philip Bloom, a well-known blogger and cinematographer, to take on a cheap camera challenge, which equips professionals with cheap cameras and gives them a task to complete with it. In this case, DigitalRev equipped Bloom with two very low-resolution cameras integrated in Barbie dolls, flew him to Hong Kong, and kicked off what turned out to be a very humorous filming experience.
These Barbie cameras recorded in 240p/15fps, and had no controls beyond being able to stop and start a recording. With the lens nestled between the doll’s cleavage, batteries in the thighs, and a very small LCD screen on the back, the logistics of making any sort of film were stacked against Bloom, who couldn’t augment his film with the use of any other camera or equipment. The cinematographer was given the 30 or so minute car ride to their destination to come up with his filming plan and story line.
Beyond the cameras and trip to Hong Kong, DigitalRev arranged three actors for him to include in his video process, and they had a bit of participation from kung fu master JuJu Chan, as well as the Ha Kwok Cheung Lion Dance, and featured some shots in the Ka Lai Tuen Chiu Chow Restaurant where some less-than-savory sounding dishes were consumed, and The Pawn.
At the end of the day, while a short movie did result from the efforts, it was the comedy that resulted from the process that made the challenge special, with Bloom and his cohorts breaking out a wide berth of dry humor, not the least of which was at the two Barbie dolls’ expense. It goes to show, while the resulting film won’t be winning any awards, even the most terrible cameras can find some purpose.